Area could pilot ‘SmartWater’

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Farmers and residents of the Bowland area of the Ribble Valley met to hear how “SmartWater” liquid could help protect their property, vehicles and valuables.

More than 30 people attending a public meeting in Newton heard information from Earle Garner, Regional Manager for SmartWater, Chief Inspector Julian Platt, Neighbourhood Sergeant John Lindsey and Community Beat manager Jo Dolan from the local Police, and Bill Alker from the Ribble Valley Community Safety Partnership.

SmartWater is a liquid which has been used successfully over the past 15 years to both prevent theft and trace stolen property back to its rightful owner. When applied to any surface it produces a series of unique microdots which can then be traced back to the owner if the item is ever stolen. Publicising the use of SmartWater in a particular location is also an excellent deterrent to would-be thieves.

The Newton meeting was the idea of local councillor Rosie Elms, who represents the Bowland, Newton and Slaidburn Ward.

She commented: “Although the Ribble Valley is a very low crime area, there is still a real need for people in rural communities to protect their property and belongings.

“I work over in the Skipton/Settle area and I am well aware of the impact that the use of SmartWater has had on rural communities, farms and businesses in that area.”

Earle Garner, from SmartWater, gave details of what uses the product could be put to, as well as anecdotal reports of how effective it had been in many different areas of the country. He gave detailed costings, including special deals for group of people who wanted to organise themselves into a “FarmWatch” network in order to help one another to be on the lookout for anything suspicious in their area and so alert one another. Signage for both initiatives would be crucial as a deterrent effect on would-be criminals.

Many of those attending have asked for further details of both the product and the costings and it is hoped that this could be used as a pilot scheme for the rest of the Ribble Valley.